The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition seeking to change the name of the country from India to Bharat and said that said the petition could be considered as a representation to the government.
A three-judge bench comprising the Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hrishikesh Roy heard a petition filed by Namah, seeking enforcement of the fundamental rights under Article 21 of the Constitution.
A bench headed by the CJI and comprising Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy asked the petitioner’s counsel, “Why have you come here? India is already called Bharat in the Constitution.”
Advocate Ashwin Vaish appearing for the petitioner submitted that the word India has been derived from the Greek word “Indica” which is not of Indian origin.
The petitioner argued that the time is ripe to recognise the country by its original and authentic name ‘Bharat’, especially when the cities have been renamed in accordance with Indian ethos.
The petitioner submitted that the Union Government has failed to do away with the symbol of slavery by using the name ‘India’ instead of Bharat or Hindustan. This has lead to the loss of identity and ethos “as inheritors of the hard-won freedom from foreign rule.”
The petitioner told the court that since in the past many representations were made to rename India with Bharat, however no action has been taken so far. Since there being no effective alternate remedy to redress the grievance, the petitioner approached the Apex court.